Niches of 2 cervids (chital, Axis axis and sambar, Cervus unicolor) and 2 bovids (nilgai, Boselaphus tragocamelus and chinkara, Gazella bennetti) from semiarid forests in western India were studied for habitat use and food habits. Habitat use was analyzed by discriminant analysis using 20 variables, and food habits investigated by analyzing undigested plant remains in pellets. Cervids and bovids differentiated primarily according to vegetation and terrain features, and the 2 deer species showed separation in diet. The 2 cervids selected forested areas, whereas the 2 bovids selected scrubland and were more tolerant of disturbances like livestock grazing and also showed a high similarity in food habits. Habitat use and food habits were analyzed with nonmetric multidimensional scaling to assess their combined effects. A greater degree of similarity in resource use between the 2 bovids suggests that they may be competitive, at least during periods of forage scarcity.
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